Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This Mutant Life

Writing is an adventure for me, in much the same way reading is. I love the surprise of discovering how my characters will behave when they find themselves challenged in certain ways and how they fit into different environments. So my writing tends to touch on many different genres. 

The novel I have been working on for nearly a decade now is Young Adult Distopian Fiction, but my short stories have crossed crossed through horror, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, children and adult fiction.  

Neo-pulp is the latest which I have tried to mould my words to. A clever and very talented writing friend of mine, Ben Langdon, has put together a neo-pulp fiction anthology in two parts and invited me to submit a piece.

This in itself was a challenge, as in the past I have only really ever written stories as they have come to me. I don't usually sit down and write short stories with a purpose or genre in mind, but I am always up for the challenge. 

The story which evolved from that reasonably excruciating process is called ‘Immortal’ and I am pleased to say it was accepted for the anthology.  It’s pretty exciting to be included alongside some very talented writers.

Part One, This Mutant Life is available now 

and Part Two, Bad Company, which will contain my story, will be available soon.

More info can be found on Ben’s website and blog

Friday, October 5, 2012

Post Varuna

Time moves along so quickly doesn't it? 

I guess it does when you need more of it, and then when you only have an hour left until knock off time that one hour can take forever. 

My magical time at Varuna was some time ago now. It seems like a blip in my distant past, but I don't want it to slip by without me acknowledging what an amazing experience it was.

If I could have written a description of a perfect retreat for a writing mother I couldn't have crafted it better. Ten days to write, bush walk, drink tea and finish a thought in what ever order I wanted, whenever I wanted. Wonderful food, cooked for us by a beautiful and thoughtful woman, and best of all the wonderful company of four other writers.

It wasn't a breeze though. Actually, I found aspects of it quite confronting and revealing. After being at home for the kids for eight years, having the opportunity to sit down and work for a long period of time, without interruption, was very difficult. It took me a couple of days to find my rhythm. 

That was my room, up the top

Also daunting was being in a house steeped in writing history. Sitting, knowing that many great published authors had sat at the same desk, slept in the same bed, written great, and I'm sure some not so great sentences, in the same space I was in. There were many moments of feeling like an intruder. The little voice inside somewhere whispering, 'This is a mistake. You shouldn't be here. You're work is not worthy.' But do you know what. Thanks to the wonderful HC editors we worked with, and mostly thanks to the other wonderful woman I shared the time with, that little voice is gone. I don't know about gone for good, but certainly gone for the time being.

Then there were the ghost stories. Mostly centred around the room I was staying in and visitations by Eleanor. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep, despite sitting up in the middle of the night and politely asking Eleanor not to make an appearance as I didn't think I had a strong enough constitution.

I guess once it is out there, it's just out there.

Here I am now, back at home after a very unproductive winter. I have contracted the children not to catch any more viruses! 

Spring is here and I plan to make use of her. 

Thank you to the wonderful people at Varuna, Arts Australia and HarperCollins for the wonderful opportunity. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Some photographs I took around Bundeena late last year, while visiting my gorgeous, talented and always supportive friend Teressa.

It's only 7 weeks until I fly to Sydney and head to Varuna for the development program. Nervous. Excited. Shit scared really.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Catching up

I'm a little behind myself at the moment. Well really I feel like that most of the time. Always trying to catch up. Sometimes that's okay, sometimes it's not.

Back in spring last year Daniel's school had a wonderful spring fair which propelled me in to craft land at a great speed.

These some of the little creations I whipped up. It was such a frenzy that I am still finding my feet - and I have to say I am a little burnt out. I haven't picked up a crochet hook or a piece of felt since. Phew.

One can have too much felt in their life!

Starting to get the urge again, just in time to start making for this years spring fair.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Can I call myself a writer now?

You'll never guess what. 

A little while ago I put forward my novel, for a manuscript development award, through Varuna and Harper Collins. To my complete surprise it was shortlisted just before Christmas. Then, just two days ago, my story was chosen as one of the final five. 

I'm still in shock.

So in May, I will head to the Blue Mountains, for a 10 day writers retreat, where I will meet with a HC editor.

I'm not sure that I can yet fully comprehend this. They liked my work! 

Does this mean I can call myself a writer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

nearly there

Slowly slowly. The bench tops have been poured and polished and look fabulous. Only another couple of weeks and we will be able to move in. Touch wood. It's been eighteen months!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the not so lovely

Today we witnessed something truly and utterly disturbing. It was something that I have witnessed before, but had wished my children to be sheltered from forever. 

How does one explain domestic violence to a six and a three year old?

Just up the road from our school, while buckling my kids into the car,  a young boy, about 12, was involved in a horrendous and violent argument with his much older sister.

Every fibre of my body was torn, and that sick feeling of uselessness is still nestled deep in the pit of my stomach. I so wanted to help this boy, who was sobbing through obscenities. His adolescent frame was hunched on the ground, cowering over his fallen bike. 

I wanted to help him, but I could not move. For moving left my own children vulnerable. I buckled them in, closed the doors and watched, making sure that my presence was felt and that it would somehow curb the fury.

The police arrived, but the boy had become extremely aggressive. He was filled with the rage of a grown man. His young face distorted, his muscles tense, hands clenched. 

How does a child come to know that kind of rage?

The boy was running up and down the road, two policemen fencing him in while another came to take my details. I told him that I had not seen the argument start, but the boy had taken a 'flogging.'

The mans response stunned me.

'I doubt the boy is blameless,' he said. 'He's known to us.'

What does that mean exactly? That he has made some mistakes and deserves to be beaten? That he is somehow responsible for his actions, or reactions, even though he doesn't yet have the capacity to think as an adult?

While giving my details the boys parents arrived. His mother stepped from the beaten up car and started screaming words that have no place in any language.

And while hearing these words flying between mother and son, and father and sister, all that was left for me to hear was the resounding story that was left floating in the spaces between.

Tonight I feel so, so, sad. Somewhere in my little town is a boy who has had his life stolen. Had his choices peeled from around him, by the people who are supposed to love him and nurture him.